officers it devolves upon your correspondent to relate. Last Friday evening a horse came dashing up to the headquarters of Gen. Sigel at Sperryville, covered with foam, and its rider black with dust. The rider brought a message from Gen. Pope at Culpeper announcing the approach of Jackson in that direction, and also an order to have his corps d'armee on the march within an hour. At the expiration of the hour the entire body was in motion. The division of Gen. Schenck led, that of Gen. Schurz followed. General Schenck had been ill several days, but the order to march reached him so that he was able to take the saddle and lead his men. At Hazel River the column halted for the night. In the morning, learning that the corps would not move in several hours, your correspondent left it, and set out for Culpeper alone, reaching that point at half-past 10 A. M. Upon arriving there, the army, gathering from different directions, was in a great state of excitement. Jackson had been discovered in great force the day before, and had given Gen. Bayard a slap in the face for his audacity, which he will not forget for some time. Jackson is twenty, Jackson is thirty, Jackson is fifty thousand strong, was heard on all sides. We are going to have the greatest battle of the season, and Gen. Pope, said some enthusiastic admirers, is going to ride right over him into Richmond. Gen. McDowell, with the division of General Ricketts, had arrived a few days before. General Banks, with the divisions commanded by Generals Augur and Williams, arrived on Friday. Gen. Sigel's appointed time was Saturday, at twelve o'clock. I had been riding all night, and, being much exhausted, had thrown myself upon a cot beneath a tent at the headquarters of Gen. Pope. At twelve precisely the booming of heavy guns was heard in the direction of the Rapidan. “Fighting has commenced,” said all around me. In a few moments I was in my saddle, and off for the field of battle. Upon reaching the Orange road, I found the corps of Gen. Banks in motion. Gen. Williams led, and Gen. Augur followed immediately after. The firing had ceased, and couriers had brought intelligence that it was simply a small battery opening upon the brigade of Gen. Crawford, which has been in that vicinity for several weeks. Fourteen shots had been fired, and then ceased. Notwithstanding the profound silence, the column of Gen. Banks moved steadily forward through the hot sun and dust. The firing in the morning came from a party near Cedar Mountain, or, as it is called by many, Slaughter-Mountain. In this direction General Banks moved. Four or five miles from Culpeper, this mountain is to be seen rising directly in front of you, although it is still almost six miles distant. The road upon which the troops moved comes almost up to the left of the mountain, and then makes a sudden curve, and winds around by the right of it. Gen. Banks brought his corps up through a small piece of wood, into an open meadow, and formed in line of battle below the mountain and the road. The division of Gen. Williams occupied the right, that of Gen. Augur, the left and centre. Gen. Green, with his brigade, occupied the extreme left. Gen. Prince stood next, then Generals Geary, Crawford, and Gordon. Just after Gen. Green had taken his position on the left, and at nearly half-past 4 o'clock, General Banks sent word to Gen. Pope that the enemy had made no demonstration upon him, and that he hardly expected a battle that afternoon. The courier had but just started before the guns were heard upon the left in the direction of General Green's brigade. In a few moments, a line of fire belched forth from the mountain, and extended from the extreme left to the right wing. The moment the position of the batteries was discovered, General Prince, occupying the centre, advanced the One Hundred and Second New-York, the One Hundreth and Ninth Pennsylvania, the Third Maryland, and the One Hundred and Eleventh Pennsylvania, passing Knapp's and Best's batteries, which had been receiving the enemy's fire for more than an hour, and reached a corn-field, when they endeavored to take the enemy's guns, which continued to keep up a galling fire, which thinned our ranks by hundreds. But the effort failed. The fire of the enemy, both from the batteries and from the masses of infantry suddenly brought to light from behind a hill, was too much for them. Slowly they were compelled to fall back, but not until they had lost two thirds of their men, and until the darkness of the approaching evening prevented them from distinguishing the enemy from their friends. Gen. Green's brigade, which occupied the extreme left, was exposed to a terrible fire from two of their batteries, but, for some reason as yet unknown to your correspondent, was unable to return it, and did not fire a musket during the battle. Gen. Geary who occupied the right of General Prince, behaved in the most gallant manner, and advanced nearly in the same line as Gen. Prince. But the enemy outnumbered him five to one. In an hour after the infantry fight commenced in the corn-field, almost the entire brigade were killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. This brigade was composed of the Sixty-sixth, Seventh, Fifth, and Twenty-ninth Ohio regiments, and the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania, sent off early in the day to hold Telegraph Hill from which our signal-lamps had been driven. Gen. Geary himself was wounded, and nearly all his colonels and their field-officers. The brigades of Gen. Prince and Gen. Geary fought with the most desperate courage. There was no running, skulking, or skirking whatever. Your correspondent saw them as they went into the battle, and saw their ranks, thinned and bleeding, return. By the order of some one they were sent where they were sure to be slaughtered. Truly has the spot where lie so many noble dead and dying been called Slaughter Mountain. The brigade of Generals Crawford and Gordon,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.